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Aviation Notes: Bell in Spain, area acquisitions

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Fort Worth-based Novaria Group has purchased the assets of Weatherford Aerospace Inc., an aerospace supplier, for an undisclosed amount. Novaria announced the purchase on Oct. 15. No purchase price was given. Novaria, the aerospace investment platform of Rosewood Private Investments and Tailwind Advisors, plans to expand Weatherford’s manufacturing capabilities, which are focused on a variety of processes and products used in most airframes flying today. The company’s customers include many major original equipment manufacturers and tier 1 and tier 2 supply chain partners such as Gulfstream, Boeing, Bell Helicopter, Bombardier, Lockheed Martin, Spirit and Triumph. Charles Paris Sr., founder of Weatherford, will become a consultant to the company. Charles “Chip” Paris Jr., the current president and general manager of Weatherford, will continue in his present capacity under Novaria’s ownership. Weatherford will continue operations in a total of 165,000 square feet at its two manufacturing facilities, both of which are located in Weatherford. Founded in 1973, the company has 165 employees. “The acquisition of Weatherford is a great step that Novaria has taken in pursuing a second aerospace manufacturing platform,” said Earl Larkin, co-CEO and executive vice chairman of Novaria. “We have taken a long-term approach to investing, and our partnership with Rosewood Private Investments and Tailwind Advisors has provided the fuel for takeoff.” Rosewood Private Investments is the private equity arm of The Rosewood Corporation, which is wholly owned by the Caroline Hunt Trust Estate. Tailwind Advisors is an independent wealth management firm serving ultra-high net worth families. – Betty Dillard

Bell opens facility in Spain Bell Helicopter and TRU Simulation + Training, both Textron Inc. companies, (NYSE: TXT), announced recently a collaboration to open the first Bell Helicopter training center in Valencia, Spain. The facility should be operational in the first quarter of 2016 with the Bell 429 as the initial training platform. The training will be conducted via a full flight simulator (FFS) which will be designed and produced by TRU Simulation + Training. “We began with the Bell 429 based on the continued interest in the product in the region,” said Eric Cardinali, executive vice president, Bell Helicopter’s customer support and services organization. “Since 2011, the number of Bell 429s operating in the region has grown from two to nearly 50. This exponential growth means increased training demands requiring a regional solution.” The two companies will leverage the facility footprint of a third entity, Textron Aviation, by housing the new training center at the Textron Aviation Service Center in Valencia. The 89,000-square-foot facility has 64,000 square feet of hangar space and a three-floor office layout. The facility also offers back shop capabilities for servicing Beechcraft, Citation and Hawker aircraft. TRU Simulation + Training was formed in April out of three legacy companies – Mechtronix Inc. and OPINICUS Corp. that were acquired by Textron late last year, and a portion of the former AAI Logistics & Technical Services. – Robert Francis

Fort Worth aerospace component manufacturer acquired Rift Valley Equity Partners LLC in early October announced it has acquired the assets of MW Crow Inc., dba W. Pat Crow Forgings, through affiliated entity Crow Precision Components LLC of Fort Worth. Crow manufactures forged metal components for aerospace, defense and industrial customers. Rift Valley said it plans to focus on supporting Crow for the long term, including investments to grow and enhance the company’s capabilities and product offering. “We are excited to partner with Cesar [Garza, Crow leader] and the team at Crow,” said David Caputo, managing partner of Rift Valley, commenting in a news release. “We believe Crow’s specialized expertise, responsiveness and best-in-class custom production capabilities provide a unique value proposition to its customers. We look forward to continuing to deliver the highest level of service while expanding our capabilities and building a leading company within the precision components industry,” Caputo said, Facilitating Rift Valley’s investment in Crow was its private investment fund. McDermott, Will & Emery LLP and Bennett Jones LLP served as legal counsel to Rift Valley. Rift Valley is a middle market private investment firm focusing on consumer products and services, retail, and industrial products and services sectors. More information is available at www.riftvalleyequity.com. Crow Precision Components LLC manufactures forged components for aerospace, defense and industrial customers. – A. Lee Graham

 

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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